Heathrow Airport – Continuous
Kennedy moved up to the airline service counter to stand face to face with Rowena.
“As much as it pains me to admit this…you are the smartest person I know, and ironically, my last resort,” Kennedy told her.
“Oookay,” Rowena said with a nervous grin. “What can I do for you?”
“Well, I ended up here and…it’s not what I expected,” Kennedy told her.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Rowena told her. “Can I book you a flight somewhere?” she asked.
Kennedy closed her eyes and sighed, before opening them again.
“You’re not a travel agent, okay? You’re a-a frickin’…world traveler. You speak, like, a gazillion languages, except for Dutch for some bizarre reason. And when I say here, I mean not here, but here.” She waved her hands around them.
“Is there a problem?” a manager asked as he came up behind Rowena.
“I’m not quite sure,” Rowena told him.
Rowena’s cell phone began to go off and the manager motioned her away.
“Is there something I can help you with?” the manager asked Kennedy.
Kennedy didn’t take her eyes off of Rowena as she handed over her information. “Yes,” she answered. “I need the next flight to Boston, one way. Doesn’t matter when.”
Not far away, Kennedy could hear Rowena talking. “Jordon, I’ll be home as soon as I can. They’re just a little short handed tonight and I thought I’d help…It’s only a few hours…I can’t leave. I promised I’d stay…Well, I figured you’d be at the pub anyway, so why would it matter?…Okay, fine. Whatever.”
Rowena didn’t look very happy when she hung up and she looked over to see Kennedy watching her.
“Your husband?” Kennedy asked.
At first Rowena didn’t say anything. “Yeah,” she replied softly.
Kennedy gave a single nod of understanding.
“You know, I’ve realized something on this trip,” she began. “You can’t change the world but…you can change what you do in it. Here,” Kennedy said, holding up her finger and reaching into her back pocket. She pulled one of the pages from her notebook. “I missed my shot…twice, truth be told, but…it’s not too late for you.”
Kennedy then handed it to Rowena. She looked at it and read it out loud. “Willow Rosenberg? Who’s this?”
Kennedy nodded. “A North American gal, like you. And quite possibly the best thing to ever happen to you. Just dump the abusive S.O.B. and look her up. You guys might hit it off.”
The manager returned holding Kennedy’s boarding pass. “Here you go,” he told her. “Is there anything else you need?”
Kennedy opened it and looked at it. “Tomorrow’s the soonest, huh?”
“Yes,” he told her. “I’m afraid so. If that doesn’t –”
“No, that’s fine,” Kennedy told him. She waved the pass at Rowena. “Don’t throw that away,” she said, nodding to the slip of paper that Rowena still held. “It’ll be the best choice you ever make. And if nothing else, she’ll make a great friend. She could use a friend and, not to be insulting…I think you could too.”
Kennedy walked away and the manager looked at Rowena, confused. Rowena just shrugged and the manager walked away. Rowena looked at the paper one last time and then at Kennedy’s retreating form before stuffing the paper in her pocket.
South Boston Street – Evening
“Heyyyy,” Mia said as Kennedy approached. “Look what the cat dragged back here.”
Kennedy grinned. “Seen Faith – sorry – Hannie anywhere?”
“That depends, Miss Moneybags,” she replied with a smile.
Kennedy sighed and handed her a twenty-dollar bill. “That’s all I’ve got tonight, Mia, so please help me.” Mia paused for a moment. She had a questioning look on her face, but Kennedy held up her hand to stop her from asking how she knew her name. “Can you help?” Kennedy asked again.
Mia grinned and then handed the money back to her.
“Haven’t seen her tonight,” she replied. “But I did see her yesterday. She was talking to someone who said they were going up to Eddie’s. Can’t say if she tagged along or not.”
“Who’s Eddie?” Kennedy asked.
“Eddie’s is more a where than a who. It’s an old abandoned appliance store where some folks hang out. One block up and two blocks over,” she said, pointing.
“Thanks,” Kennedy told her as she started to walk. She stopped and turned to face Mia. “You plan on being around here all night?”
“Yeah, why?” Mia asked.
Kennedy grinned. “I wanna offer you a trip to California, but we’ll talk later,” she said, as she began to walk again.
“Hey, kid,” Mia said, “Be careful when you go in there. They don’t care for outsiders.”
“Thanks for the tip,” Kennedy told her.
South Boston Alley – Moments Later
Kennedy made sure to walk down the middle of the alley, her eyes shifting back and forth to try to see into the shadowy doorways.
When she was half way down the alley, she heard a voice behind her ask, “Did you get yourself lost, little girl?”
She turned to see a man about her age start to move toward her.
“Just back off,” Kennedy told him. “I don’t want any trouble. I’m lookin’ for someone.”
“Well, you found me, sweetheart,” he said casually, before taking off into a run after her.
Kennedy immediately began to run, too, but he caught up with her easily and grabbed her by the hair, knocking her to the ground. She got up on her elbows and tried to sweep his leg, but he jumped over it easily. He grabbed her by the arm and pulled her to her feet.
Once upright, Kennedy swung and connected with his chin, but it had no effect. He only laughed before spinning her arm behind her, pinning her.
He ran her into the wall of the building to their right, and blood began to trickle from Kennedy’s eyebrow where her face connected with the brick.
“Leave her alone,” an unseen voice said from behind the man.
The attacker punched Kennedy hard in the face, then pushed her to the ground and turned to face the intruder.
“And what’s it to you?” he asked.
Jason Felix stood nervously in the middle of the alley.
“She’s just a kid. Find someone your own size to pick on,” he replied.
The attacker laughed. “Like you?”
Kennedy was on all fours. She spit some blood out of her mouth.
The attacker pushed Felix, making him fall on his backside.
“Well, come on,” he taunted. “You look like you’re about my size. Take me on.”
The sound of a gun cocking behind him and the feel of a barrel against his head stopped the bully in his tracks.
“I’m more your size than he is,” a southern voice added. “And the way I see it, you got two choices – walk or die. What’s it gonna be, sucker?”
The man put his hands in the air and slowly turned around to see an angry man pointing the gun at him.
“Hey, Caleb, calm down. Is she one of your gals? I didn’t know, man. Really…”
“You got ten seconds to get outta my face,” Caleb warned him, never lowering the gun. “One…”
The attacker took off up the alley. Once he was around the corner, Caleb and Felix made their way over to Kennedy, who was now sitting up.
“Hey Sugar,” Caleb said, reaching his hand down to her. Kennedy tried to scramble away from him, her eyes wide. “It’s okay,” he told her. “I’m not gonna hurt you. My girls told me there might be trouble down here. You need some help?”
“No,” Kennedy said. She tried to stand up but fell back down. “Okay, maybe a little,” she confessed. “I haven’t had my bell rung like that in…forever.”
Caleb chuckled. “Not safe for a girl to be out here on her own,” he said, as he reached down and lifted her up. “Bruises and cuts aside, they were right – you’re a damn good-looking girl. You’d make one fine addition. Name’s Caleb,” he told her.
“Kennedy,” she replied. “And thanks, really…Both of you.”
“She gave me soup and a couple bucks,” he told Caleb. “I figured one good turn deserves another.”
“You trying to work down here, sweetheart?” Caleb asked. “‘Cause if you are, you’re really gonna need some added muscle, if you follow me.”
Kennedy blinked several times, trying to focus her eyes. “Work? Oh, no, I’m looking for someone I know around here. Her name’s Faith Lehane, well, Hannie.”
“Hey, if you find yourself needing to make some extra cash the easy way…look me up,” Caleb said, as he handed her a card.
“You have business cards?” Kennedy asked as she took it.
“I run a business, Sweetie,” he told her. He handed her a handkerchief. “A very lucrative one. And I always take care of my girls. Nobody messes with ’em. Ever. You just keep that handy, in case you change your mind.”
“Yeah,” Kennedy said, wiping the blood from her forehead. “Do you mind…?” She waved now-bloody hanky.
“Keep it,” he told her.
“Thanks again,” she told them, as she started to limp away.
“Hey,” Caleb shouted out. “Why don’t you stick to the main streets?”
“Sorry, Pal,” she answered. “I’ve gotta find a friend first.”
“Must be some friend,” he replied.
Kennedy grinned, but it quickly slipped away as she grabbed her sore lip.
“Yeah, she is…she just doesn’t realize it yet. Thanks.”
Abandoned Store – Moments Later
Kennedy pushed the hanky into her front pocket and looked up at the dilapidated sign that read “Eddie’s Discount Electronics.” She stepped closer and pulled on the door. It opened.
She peeked her head inside first and looked around before fully entering. In the various corners, people lounged around on old mattresses. Some of them were passing joints to each other, while others were rolling around, half-clothed.
She saw a man and a woman standing near a column inside the store, smoking cigarettes.
“Either of you guys seen Hannie?” she asked.
“Who wants to know?” the man asked.
“A friend,” Kennedy told him. “I’ve got some important news she might want to know.”
The smoking pair looked at each other and the woman nodded toward the back of the store. “Check upstairs,” she told her. “She’s not down here.”
“Thanks,” Kennedy said, nodding.
Abandoned Store – Hallway – Moments Later
As Kennedy entered the second floor, the area was divided by rooms without any doors. She peered into each one as she made her way along. In the middle of the hallway she stopped and looked inside one room.
“Faith?” she called over to a woman on a mattress. She shook her head at the mistake. “Hannie, is that you?” she called out. Not getting a response, she walked deeper into the room.
As Kennedy approached, she could see it was Faith. She was unconscious with a needle sticking out of her arm.
Kennedy raced over and pulled the needle out, throwing it across the small room. She reached for Faith’s wrist and immediately hung her head.
“You’re ice cold,” she muttered as she held on to the wrist, pressing firmly. “No,” she started to say repeatedly. “No, no, no, no, no…I told you to wait. I told you I’d be back…You stupid bitch!” Kennedy shouted as she threw Faith’s arm to the mattress. She stood up and began to pace.
“Shut the hell up!” another voice yelled from one of the other rooms.
“Go to hell!” Kennedy shouted back.
Kennedy started to bawl, crying uncontrollably. She fell to her knees beside Faith and tried to wipe her eyes. She pushed the matted hair away from the side of Faith’s cheek and just leaned over her, staring into her lifeless eyes. Kennedy’s hand reached out and closed the lids. Then her head rested on Faith’s cold stomach as she continued to cry.
“I thought I told you –!” The man in the doorway stopped when he saw Kennedy over Faith’s body. “Guys!” he shouted. “Better clear out. I think we got a stiff.”
Kennedy could hear the movement in the other rooms, but she didn’t move from her position. Finally, she slowly rose up into a sitting position. When she did, Tally Atwater was sitting behind her.
Kennedy seemed to sense someone behind her and turned to see her there.
“You,” Kennedy hissed.
“So, Kennedy,” the vengeance demon asked, moving to her side, “what do you think of this world?”
“What do I think?” Kennedy asked incredulously. “You give me back Vi, but you take Faith. What the hell is that about, huh?”
“You can’t have it all. Everything has a price…”
Kennedy shook her head. “So what now? I’m just supposed to be glad that I’ve got Vi instead? T-That I have to have some karmic trade-off, either one or the other, but not both? Is that it?”
“Yes, in a word. You lost Faith, but you still have Vi, as you mentioned. You still have your mother. You have wonderful friends, a promising academic career, a hot boyfriend who adores you…everything a young woman your age dreams of, to be quite frank.”
“Well, first, I’m gay. And second, I got my ass kicked by a scumbag and had to be rescued by a pimp and a hobo,” Kennedy said. “Not all that rosy, if you ask me. Plus, my other friends, their families, they’re all dead. And those that aren’t don’t have fabulous lives. For most part, their lives suck, too.”
“You said it yourself, Kennedy. This world, any world, is what you make of it. You can’t change the world, but you can change your own life. You decide your fate, you decide your future.”
“And what if I want to be a slayer? There’s no magic, so that means I have no powers. Here I’m…I’m weak, I’m helpless.”
“True, you have no slayer powers anymore, but that also means you have no guilt, no regrets for what you’ve done as a slayer. You can start fresh in this life.”
“Yeah, but I’ll always know what I’m capable of, in any world. I know what I can do…what I’ve done. This new world can’t take that away…Hell, even that psycho bitch is still alive – still killing people.”
“But you took care of that in the other world, didn’t you?”
“You make it sound easy,” Kennedy replied.
“Pulling that trigger was easy. Living with what happened afterward, a bit tougher than you expected. Once the rage has subsided, what’s left? An emptiness that can’t be filled perhaps? A void, because killing Heli didn’t bring Vi back…or at least make you feel better about the fact she was gone?”
“What would you know about it?” Kennedy growled back. “You’ve never stared someone in the eye and took their life. Instead, you play a game. Give people this but take away that. You’re a monster.”
“Just as much a monster as you?” the demon asked. “You killed that woman in your world. As for Faith here, she killed herself. I didn’t do that. If you had stayed here, instead of chasing after Willow in England…maybe things would have been different.”
“Don’t you dare,” Kennedy hissed again. “Don’t blame this on me for a single second. I wasn’t chasing after Willow. I had the chance to save Faith, and I would have until…the dumb bitch OD’d!”
“And you lost that chance. Just like you had the chance to save Vi in your world.”
“What are you talking about?” Kennedy asked, getting frustrated.
“Come on, Ken,” the demon told her. “Think, would you? If you had left Heli’s room a few seconds earlier, maybe broke that door down a few minutes sooner…Vi might still be alive. Tell me you haven’t considered that?”
“Of course I have!” Kennedy shouted. “I’ve been kicking myself for months, but I can’t change that now!”
“Which is why I offered this world,” the demon replied. “One where you could live out your life as a ‘normal’ girl, one that included Vi and the mother you’ve always wanted. But you’re still going to make choices – some right and some wrong.” The demon motioned to Faith on the bed. “Leaving her right now was just a wrong decision. And in the end, you can’t save everyone.”
Kennedy was quiet for a moment. “I don’t want this…I-I want my demon hunting girlfriend back. I want Faith to be alive. I-I want Willow to be happy, even if it isn’t with me…and Buffy a-and Dawn a-and Xander…I want my old life back.”
“And sacrifice Vi and your mother?”
“No, I don’t want that either.”
“Again, it can’t be both ways. You have to make a choice. So what is it – Vi and this ‘typical life’ or Faith and being chosen in your old world.”
Kennedy shook her head. “Again, you make it sound so simple. Even if I wanted to change it, there’s nothing I can do. No magical spells to fix it in this world.”
“Is that your answer? Is Faith and the life you had what you truly want?”
“You’re going to make me choose, aren’t you?”
“The choice is yours Kennedy. But each world, with all its benefits, has to come with a price. Nothing is ever perfect, and we all need to make choices.”
Kennedy was quiet for a moment. She began to rock back and forth nervously in her position on the floor.
“Fine, I pick Faith, okay? I miss Vi every day and every night. But Faith being gone, like this,” she motioned to the dead body in front of her. “She’s a heroine. She needs to die as a champion or preferably as a little old lady surrounded by grandkids, great-grandkids even…but…not now, not like this…Still, there isn’t anything I can do to change it in this world.”
“Sure there is,” the demon replied. “Just wake up.”
“I am awake,” Kennedy told her.
“No…Wake up,” the demon repeated. Kennedy looked at her confused. “Ken, wake up.”
Kennedy was in a prone position with her eyes closed. Suddenly, her eyes shot open and she looked down at the foot of the bed to see Faith standing there.
“Ken, wake up,” Faith told her.
Watchers Council – Kennedy’s Apartment – Same Time
“Planning to go on patrol tonight?” Faith asked her.
Slowly, Kennedy moved to her elbows. She looked over at her clock, which read seven p.m. She looked around the room and realized she was at the Council. She jumped out of bed and quickly moved to Faith, pulling up her sleeve.
“Uhhh, what are you doing?” Faith asked, confused.
“You’re not a drug addict,” Ken sighed as she released her arm.
“No,” Faith replied flatly.
“And you don’t have HIV?”
Faith said nothing at first. Instead of speaking, she raised the back of her hand to Kennedy’s forehead.
“You don’t have a fever, but still, maybe you should go back to bed tonight.”
“I’m fine, I’m better than fine. I…I just had the weirdest dream.”
“No kidding,” Faith said with a grin.
“At least, I think it was a dream…I haven’t done any T.V. interviews lately, have I?”
“Uh, no,” Faith replied.
Kennedy considered the word and paced. “Okay, that’s good. Then that’s it. It was just a dream.”
“And one that’s got you really…animated,” Faith remarked.
“I met a vengeance demon,” Kennedy explained, “and suddenly there was no such thing as magic or witches or slayers or the Watchers Council and…” Kennedy began to grin. “I wouldn’t trade you for anything.”
Faith grinned too. “I wouldn’t trade you either, Slick.” She motioned toward the bed, then added, “Which is why I’m not sending you out tonight. I don’t care that Dr. Millenti cleared you. I think you need to stay home and rest.”
Faith walked to the door.
“Hey,” Kennedy called out, making her friend turn. Kennedy paused for a moment and just watched her friend standing there, as if soaking up every aspect of her being.
“I love you, Faith,” she added in a genuine tone.
Faith gave her a slight grin.
“I love you too, Ken…which is why I’m coming back to check on you after I put someone else into your slot for the night.”
“Trust me when I say, I haven’t felt better,” Kennedy replied.
Faith just shook her head. “I’ll be back and you can tell me about this dream.”
Faith didn’t wait for a reply. She left the room and Kennedy fell back against the bed. She stared silently at the ceiling.
Fade to Black
Robia LaMorte as Jenny Calendar, Danny Strong as Jonathan Levinson, Adam Busch as Warren Meers, Felicia Day as Vi Joston, Amber Benson as Tara Maclay, Elizabeth Anne Allen as Amy Madison, Jennifer Connelly as Althenea Dimmons, Christy Carlson Romano as Hope Lehane, Nathan Fillion as Caleb and Gary Oldman as Jason Felix
End of The Price
Next on Watchers…
Most of the Council heads to Canada for Willow and Rowena’s wedding, while Kennedy and Kadin follow Bureau Nine on a mysterious mission in the Himalayas, none of them realizing how these events are about to intersect.